Tomatoes, cheese, and bread—each a perfectly fine culinary delight, but combine them and you get one of the greatest inventions to ever grace our taste buds…pizza! The first recorded account of the pizza we know and love today came on June 11, 1889 when a Neapolitan pizzamaker named Raffaele Esposito created a special treat for the visiting Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy. Esposito garnished a flatbread with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil to represent the national colors of Italy (red, white, and green) and named his creation in the Queen’s honor—Pizza Margherita. Today pizza comes in various shapes and sizes with a cornucopia of possible toppings, but one of the most iconic toppings of them all is pepperoni.
September 20th is Pepperoni Pizza Day, and we are celebrating with a few of our favorite pizza quotes from the movies. We hope this inspires you to grab a slice and watch your favorite movie, or discover some new ones!
MYSTIC PIZZA (1988)
“The mystic pizza—I assume that’s the house special.”
Hector Freshette, aka The Fireside Gourmet, (Louis Turenne) after having just taken a bite of the house special in Mystic Pizza (1988)
The Connecticut pizzeria known as Mystic Pizza gets a surprise visit one day from Hector Freshette, a strict food critic nicknamed “The Fireside Gourmet.” One cannot truly judge an eating establishment until one has tasted their finest dish, and that’s exactly what “The Fireside Gourmet” does, ordering the house special—the mystic pizza.
DO THE RIGHT THING (1989)
“Extra cheese is two dollars.”
Sal (Danny Aiello) argues with Buggin Out (Giancarlo Esposito) in Do the Right Thing (1989)
Sal’s been serving up the same pizza his way for years. One dollar and fifty cents will get you a slice, but that slice doesn’t have enough cheese for Buggin Out. Unfortunately, extra cheese is a surcharge. Think you can bypass that surcharge by loading up your slice with parmesan? Buggin Out thought so, but Sal wasn’t having it. Extra cheese is two dollars.
BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II (1989)
“Oh boy, oh boy, Mom. You sure can hydrate a pizza.”
(center) Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) from the future in Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Jennifer gets a glimpse of future culinary innovations in Back to the Future Part II when she witnesses pizza night at the McFly residence. On the menu is a half pepperoni, half green pepper pizza that looks no different from what the 1980s has to offer—that is, when it’s ready to eat. The pizza begins as a miniature version that Marty McFly’s mother, Lorraine, pops into the hydrator. After only a few seconds, the miniature pizza grows to full size and is ready to eat, prompting Marty to sing Lorraine’s praises.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURLTES (1990)
“Wise man say: Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.”
Donatello (played by Leif Tilden, voiced by Corey Feldman) sits next to Michelangelo (played by Michelan Sisti, voiced by Robbie Rist) in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
The teenage mutant ninja turtles are crazy for pizza, especially Michelangelo. Mikey’s kicking it in the sewers one night, counting down the seconds until the pizza he ordered is due to arrive, when Donatello pays him a visit and attempts to have a serious conversation. The pizza delivery man finally arrives, but he’s two minutes late. Late pizza means three dollars off, so Mikey slips a ten through the sewage vent, much to the dismay of the delivery man, whose excuse is that he couldn’t find the address. Despite knowing the importance of forgiveness, Mikey has no patience when it comes to late pizza—even when ordered from an unconventional address.
HOME ALONE (1990)
“A lovely cheese pizza—just for me.”
Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) in Home Alone (1990)
Little Kevin McCallister can’t catch a break. His older brother, Buzz, relentlessly picks on him, he gets blamed for everything, and no one leaves him any cheese pizza—his favorite. When Kevin finds himself home alone, he takes advantage of the unique opportunity and calls up Little Nero’s Pizza. With some help from an old, black-and-white movie, Kevin skirts having to face the delivery guy and is left with a “lovely cheese pizza,” just for himself.
DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY (2004)
“We’ve punched the pizza dough, and it’s time to sauce it up. Oh boy, is my mouth watering.”
White Goodman (Ben Stiller) in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
White Goodman stays on a strict workout and diet regime to keep his chiseled physique in top shape. After all, the owner, operator, and founder of Globo Gym America Corp. can’t be seen packing on a few extra pounds. White resorts to some…unusual methods to keep his culinary urges at bay, including one in particular that involves an irresistible slice of pepperoni pizza. White takes a big sniff of the cheesy slice as he listens to an instructional video for making pizza, detailing all the yummy details in a step-by-step process. The takeaway?—Don’t ever interrupt someone during their private reflection period.
KICKING & SCREAMING (2005)
“I want all of you to know—If the pizzas don’t arrive, I’ve already made the decision that we will eat Byong Sun.”
Phil Weston (Will Ferrell) in Kicking & Screaming (2005)
Phil Weston was a typical soccer dad until he transferred his son, Sam, to the bottom-feeding Tigers and began a path of vengeance to get back at his overbearing father, who just happens to coach Sam’s previous team and defending league champions, the Gladiators. Now the coach of the Tigers, Phil Weston treats his team to a bonding experience in his backyard, complete with smores, sleeping bags, and a cannibalistic threat—the three pillars of camping. He quickly retracts the statement as only a joke, but his players are still on edge given his string of recent outbursts. Howling at the moon shortly after doesn’t help his case either.
EAT PRAY LOVE (2010)
“I’m in love. I’m having a relationship with my pizza.”
Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) in Eat Pray Love (2010)
After a painful divorce, Liz Gilbert embarks on a round-the-world journey to “find herself.” In this scene, Liz finds herself in Napoli, eating the city’s famous Margherita pizza. She’s tired of keeping track of what and when she eats, counting calories, and feeling guilty. After biting into the pie, Liz finds love once again in the doughy form of sauce, cheese, and basil.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2014)
“I submit to you…novantanove formaggio! The ninety-nine-cheese pizza.”
Master Splinter (played by Danny Woodburn, voiced by Tony Shalhoub in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Donatello sneak out of their lair one night and go above ground, where they first meet April O’Neil. When the turtles refuse to divulge where they went, Splinter places them in the dreaded Hashi, but none of them crack. Then, Splinter pulls out the big guns—the turtles’ kryptonite…pizza. Splinter cleverly weaves a tale of Da Vinci’s 99 cheese pizza, which he uses to coax the turtles into cracking. Although most of the turtles see through Splinter’s trick, Michelangelo can’t help but wonder what a 99-cheese pizza would taste like, and he eventually gives in, spilling the beans about their night above ground.